Fiolina is quickly slipping to her bad, old ways
Unless you are new in Damascus, sorry, Mwisho wa Lami, then you know that Fiolina, after flying high in the corporate world for about two years, is now lying low in the village.
While the circumstances under which she returned are unwarranted and although she had never been a good person, I did not revenge. I welcomed her with my two hands.
I did a lot to support her transition from a high-flying job in a modern, high-speed city to doing nothing in a dull village. You all know how I allowed her in school, even giving her an office that is not recognised by the constitution.
I did this at the expense of myself as this put me at loggerheads with almost all teachers, with many asking why I had allowed my wife to do that which the law did not allow. I stood firm and defended her, protected her. Firmly. If anyone would have told you then that Fiolina would put me to shame so soon, you wouldn’t have believed. Yet she did. Within two weeks of her arrival back in the village.
It started when Baby Sospeter was sent away from the school in Kakamega. His expensive school in Kakamega had organised a trip to Mombasa for Sh14,000.
If you remember, Fiolina had never consulted me before she took the kids to expensive schools. And although she had paid the first term school fees in full, she had not paid the money for the trip.
“We urgently need to pay the money or else Sospeter will miss the trip to Mombasa,” she told me, adding that I had to get the money and pay. “If Sospeter misses the trip, not only will he miss a great lesson but he will also be affected psychologically.”
I was clear to her that I did not have such an amount and even if I had it, paying Sh14,000 for a trip to Mombasa was a rip-off.
“Are they flying first class?” I asked.
“It is not a rip-off. Remember, this will be a guided trip done by experienced teachers. Our son cannot miss this golden opportunity,” she answered.
“I never went for a school trip and yet I turned out just well,” I said.
I would kill the topic every time she brought it up until she stopped talking about it. In the meantime, the friendship between Fiolina and Sella seemed to be blossoming. Pre-Kakamega days, the two were not close. But since Fiolina went to kakamega, they became friends and used to exchange a lot. Actually, it was always Fiolina giving Sella used hair – which she called either wigs or weaves – once she was done with them. I did not encourage the friendship since I saw nothing that Fiolina stood to benefit from Sella. It was always Sella benefiting.
I never bothered to find out what Fiolina and Sella were discussing. But later on this brought me shame.
It all started last week when I sent away all students who had no proper school uniform. Over time, I had realised that anything seemed to be allowed in our school and this needed to stop if we were keen to restore our lost glory. Other people thought differently. “I do not think we should continue keeping kids with no uniform away from school,” said Madam Ruth last Tuesday. “No one needs to be in uniform to learn well.”
She was supported by Kuya, who went ahead to quote the constitution and UN convention that guaranteed access to education by all.
“I know that but as a school, we must have standards and keep them. This is a school of order, not a rainbow of many colours,” I said.
By mid last week, very few students had returned. In fact, some who had uniforms started being absent. Teachers stopped going to class, with Kuya blaming it on TFTT, or “Too Few To Teach”.
“The students available are so few that even if you teach, you would have to repeat the lesson when others come back. It’s a waste of time, really,” he said.
Soon, the matter reached the assistant chief. I am sure Kuya told him. The assistant chief came to school last Thursday, breathing fire.
“The Kenya Kwanza manifesto is clear that no learner will be sent away for lack of uniform,” he said when he entered my office. “I am ordering all the students to return, at the latest tomorrow. Without fail.” He did not even allow me to respond.
I called for a staff meeting that afternoon to discuss the matter. We were split down the middle. Kuya, Sapphire and Madam Ruth insisted that we allow the students.
“I even do not understand why we insist on uniforms. It is a British colonial relic. Research has shown that uniforms do not add any value at all,” said Sapphire.
On my side was Mrs Atika, Alex and Lena. After we agreed to allow all the students the next day, I said: “I do not understand some parents. How can you not afford a simple thing like uniforms? This is especially pertinent to fathers who have literally delegated parenting to their wives.”
“You are right, Dre. Fathers have become very useless on school matters,” said Mrs Atika. “The sad thing is that it is not just the poor fathers. Even able fathers are a problem. Some of them are even seated here,” said Sella. I asked her to expound as I was sure she was talking about Kuya – who is said to be irresponsible.
“I know one here who refused to pay for a school trip for his child in a school in Kakamega,” she went on. “Some of us had to borrow money to help the mother pay for this. The father just did not care.”
No one needed a calculator to know it was me, for who else has children attending school in Kakamega?
I ended the meeting there and then and confronted Fiolina when I arrived back home.
“But was she lying? Did you pay the money for the field trip? Do you even know if it was paid?” She asked. “You are no different from poor Mwisho wa Lami fathers who don’t care about their kids’ education.”
Ladies and gentlemen, the arrogant, problematic Fiolina of old is back. But this time she is playing with fire. I am ready to deal with her effectively, efficiently and firmly. And I will.